Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, May 1, 2017

Elon Musk Proposes Underground Car Tunnel

Funny story: Elon Musk was driving through L.A. when he got stuck in traffic. He tweeted how he hated traffic jams and how he would go as far as to drill a tunnel under the city to escape them.

And that’s exactly what he plans to do!

Musk plans on creating a new company—boringly enough called the Boring Company—that will not only create an underground car tunnel, but an automated car tunnel that operates almost like a “post-apocalyptic slot car race that takes place underneath the city of Los Angeles.”

Gizmodo further explains the details:
Think of it as a future free of traffic and sunlight. On the surface, Musk explained, cars would drive onto sled-like devices that would descend into the bowels of the Earth, where Musk’s Boring Company has built a vast network of tunnels. From there, apparently, the sleds connect to a track that sends the cars zooming through the tubes at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. There would be no need to fret about crashing, either, since some supercomputer (somewhere) could carefully direct traffic so that each car and sled rides at a safe but efficient distance from the next one. When all is said and done, you could get from Compton to Malibu in, who knows, maybe a few minutes.
Of course, like all of Musk’s visions, this one also has its fair share of detractors.

From left to right, from PZ Myers to Thunderf00t, critics have been panning crazy ideas for being—well, crazy!—and calling him every name in the book.

He’s a right-wing lunatic. He’s a Silicon Valley dudebro. He’s a crony capitalist scam artist. He’s the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain of the world. He’s an android from the future come to bring about the end of the world. (And yes, people have actually called him that!)

To all his detractors, I only have two words: Shut. Up.

Say what you want about Musk, but he genuinely wants to do good things for people. He wants to send them to Mars. He wants to provide them affordable electric vehicles and renewable energy. He wants to give them high-speed public transportation. He wants to expand human consciousness by blurring the lines between human and machine. And yes, he wants people to escape traffic jams!

Yes, he’s a crazy billionaire. But he’s a crazy billionaire with a vision. He has a vision of a better future where humanity is allowed to reach its full potential. And he wants to use his wealth and resources as a “crazy billionaire” to help bring that vision into fruition. As such, he’s one of the few people who give me hope for the future.

That’s probably why people don’t like him. It’s because they’ve given up hope. And who can blame them? When false political prophets promise to bring about “hope and change” and to “make America great again”, it’s easy to lose hope when those false prophets fail to deliver. As such, cynicism has become the prevailing attitude of the current age. We no longer hope for the future. We fear for it. And that’s certainly easy to do when your president is deranged Cheeto Hitler who wants to provoke North Korea into bringing about nuclear winter.

But, damn it, I don’t want to fear for the future. I’m getting sick and tired of the doom and gloom of impending Armageddon hanging over my head. I don’t want a bleak future. I want a great big beautiful tomorrow that’s just a dream away. And I want someone like Musk to assure me that such a future is possible—that if we can dream it, we can do it! (And yes, I just quoted Disney twice!)

Sure, his ideas are crazy. What great ideas weren’t considered "crazy"? Is it crazy to suggest putting a “post-apocalyptic slot car race” under a city? Sure. It was also crazy to suggest putting a train under a city, and now New York City is better off because of that "crazy" idea.

And sure, he’s probably not going to succeed with many of his crazy ideas. But, damn it, he’s trying. At least he’s trying. You can’t fault a man for trying. Better try and fail than never to try at all. And even if he does fail, he or someone else can always try again. If at first you don’t succeed, of course!

So yes, go ahead and call his “post-apocalyptic slot car race” under L.A. “crazy.” But you at least have to admit that it’s cool. Right?!